Daytona winner Aric Almirola wrecks in practice at New Hampshire
A flat left rear tire in Saturday's opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session sent Aric Almirola's No. 43 Ford hard into the outside wall, causing the team to pull out the back-up car.
Aric Almirola (R), driver of the No. 43 Charter Ford, inspects his car after crashing during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 12, 2014 in Loudon, N.H.
Brian Lawdermilk / NASCAR
By Jay Pennell
Richard Petty Motorsports' Aric Almirola was celebrating in Victory Lane last week in Daytona, but on Saturday morning in New Hampshire, the driver of the No. 43 was looking over a wrecked race car after hitting the outside wall in the day's opening practice.
The left tire started losing air headed down the NHMS backstretch, and when the No. 43 Ford reached the entrance of Turn 3 the tire gave out, sending Almirola hard into the outside wall with the driver's side.
"I felt it when it was too late," Almirola said. "It was fine down the back straightaway. Right about the time I was getting on the brakes getting into Turn 3, I felt it go down, and I'm just along for the ride. Disappointing. Our Charter Communications Ford Fusion was decent. We still had some work to do, but it was decent."
Almirola was able to climb from the car, but the team was forced to pull out the back-up car and give up their 19th starting spot for Sunday's race.
"Unfortunately, we're going to have to make our back-up car work for us," he said. "Our back-up car may be even better than our primary car. We were struggling a little bit to get this car to go across the center of the corner like we wanted it to, so you never know. I know people that have won with back-up cars before."
Really HARD hit! Thankful to how safe the cars and saffer barriers are. Could've been a lot worse. We'll be ok. 43 team getting backup ready